Today I am going to depart from the usual subject matter of this blog. Instead of uncovering a hidden meaning beneath the literal text of the Bible, I am going to share one of the most important conversations I have ever had with God. I was both emboldened and humbled by God’s reply, and it is certainly part of the reason I “woke up” from the slumber that I now know was my own unconscious mind. I hope you enjoy…
Me: God, I have some important questions to ask you. I really need some answers. I’m going crazy!
God: I’m here.
Me: I have been reading the Bible for a long time now, but I am finally ready to question you on some things that just don’t make sense. Is that okay?
God: I’m listening.
Me: No disrespect, God, but who are you, anyway? I mean, who are you, really? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. Even the Bible seems to disagree on some things.
Me: This might seem a little silly, God, but the Bible seems to say you’re a man? Is that your gender?
God: A man?
Me: The Bible refers to you as “he” and “him” a lot. But that contradicts what Jesus said about you. He said you’re a spirit. And if that’s true, it seems kind of silly for a spirit to have a gender. Jesus said angels don’t marry.
God: Good point.
Me: So…you don’t have a gender. And you’re a spirit. But will I ever be able to see you? I mean, do you have an appearance? Do you look like something?
God: What does the Bible say?
Me: It says you appeared to people in the Old Testament. But then John 1:18 says that “No man hath seen God at any time.” Well, God, which is it? Do you have an appearance or not?
God: What do you think?
Me: I think that if you really had an appearance, it would mean that you were limited.
God: Interesting. Go on.
Me: Well, if you really had an appearance, then you would be limited to that appearance. But God can’t be limited in any way. God is supposed to be infinite.
God: Yes, it seems that God is.
Me: Then I guess that settles it. You don’t have an appearance. You’re infinite.
God: I guess it does.
Me: Excuse me if I say this conversation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, God. I haven’t really come any closer to understanding you.
God: I’m still listening.
Me: Alright, well, if you don’t have an appearance, then who are you? I mean, what are you?
God: What do you think?
Me: To be honest, God, I don’t know. It really doesn’t make sense that you could be someone at all—not an individual, not an entity, not a person.
God: Interesting. Explain what you mean.
Me: Well, God, an individual is limited to their own individuality, right?
God: I suppose. Keep going.
Me: I guess what I am trying to say is this: an individual cannot be another individual. For example, President Obama is President Obama. He is not President Bush, nor can he be President Bush. Therefore President Obama is limited to being President Obama. So if you are some type of person, individual, or entity, then you, too, would be limited. Since you’re infinite, you can’t be an individual, a person, or an entity of any kind.
God: You make a good point.
Me: Which brings me to another question, God; the Bible seems to convey you’re in heaven and hell, for the Psalmist says: “If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” So I am supposed to think that you live in heaven and hell?
God: What do you think?
Me: Personally, I think an infinite being such as yourself would have to be everywhere. You’re supposed to be omnipresent, right? And if you’re omnipresent…well, that means you’re everywhere!
God: So it does.
Me: But, God, if you’re everywhere, then that would mean you would have to be a part of everything—the stars, the planets, the mountains, the seas, the people, even down to the tiniest one-celled organism. If you weren’t, you certainly couldn’t be omnipresent, and you certainly couldn’t be infinite. Isn’t that true?
God: Yes, it is.
Me: God, this is really weird because by the way this conversation is going, you’re not turning out to be like the God I have been told about in my Sunday school classes or the sermons of my pastor.
God: Did you really think you could find me in organized religion?
Me: I used to, but it’s pretty clear that I was naïve.
God: Not naïve, just growing. The important thing is that you were searching.
Me: God, may I ask some more questions?
God: You may always ask. I am always listening.
Me: Do you have thoughts?
God: Are you asking me if I think?
Me: I know it seems a bit silly, God. But I’m serious. The Bible says your thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
God: And what do you think?
Me: I think that if you had thoughts, you’d be one big contradiction, because a thought is another limitation. For example, I know that when I am thinking, I can only think of one thing at a time. I can multitask pretty well, but I still can only think of one thought at a time. That’s what a thought is—being cognizant of something, or concentrating on one thing, and we already know a thing is a limitation. But according to your infinite nature you shouldn’t have thoughts at all, since all thoughts are just limitations.
God: Good point.
Me: So how do you do what you do? I mean, thinking is what makes us who we are. It makes us unique and defines our individuality. Our thoughts and memories are us. We use memories everyday to formulate and define who we are. Time also seems to help with this, because humans think in a linear fashion. But you, if you’re infinite in nature, you surely wouldn’t think, and you certainly aren’t within the parameters of time. So what defines you?
God: Do you really think I need to be defined?
Me: I guess not. In fact, it seems you can’t be defined. And that’s confusing.
God: What’s confusing?
Me: Well, let’s see…so far we have established that you’re nothing, nobody, nowhere, at no time. So where does that really leave us? I mean, how do I seek out a relationship with nothing? How do I…get to you?
God: GET to me? If I am nowhere, why would you need to get to me?
Me: Good point, God. So if it’s impossible to get to you, how am I supposed to have a relationship with you?
God: You have already said I am nobody, nowhere, at no time simply because if I were, I would be limited. But since I am not limited, I am none of those. However, everything that there ever was or is arises from me. Everything that comes to be simply IS because of my infinite nature. And that nature is the power of creation. So if everything IS because of me, doesn’t it make sense to know I AM the center of those things?
Me: So you are the center of everything? Is that what you’re saying?
God: Center, essential nature, consciousness, whatever you wish to label it. Yes, I am that which is the BEING of it.
Me: Even me?
God: Even you.
Me: So you are my essential nature, my core. In other words, you are “within” me?
Me: So how do I experience that which is “within” me?
God: Easy. Drop the “me” that you think you are.
Me: That’s deep God, but how do you drop yourself? I mean, how do I drop the “me” to experience you?
God: Alright. First let’s examine you. Who do you think you are?
Me: Well, I’m a person. I’m Joshua.
God: And who is Joshua?
Me: Well, I am a father of two children, husband to a beautiful wife, and I teach 4th grade. I like fishing, reading, hiking, and spending time with the family. Sometimes I get lonely, bored, or even scared. I am also…
God: Stop! That’s not who you are.
Me: What do you mean?
God: Is that who you are, or are those labels that you have created to define Joshua?
Me: I guess they are labels that define me.
God: Right. And isn’t Joshua just another label?
God: So let me ask again. Who are you? And this time, I do not want to hear who Joshua is. I want to hear who you are. Remember, who you really are gives rise to Joshua, not the other way around.
Me: Well, I guess I really don’t know who I am.
God: And that’s the problem with most of humanity. They have no idea of their true identity.
Me: Which is?
God: Has it occurred to you that you are now asking the same question about yourself that you asked about me?
Me: That’s strange.
God: And that is the problem. Not only do most people not know who I am, but they don’t know themselves, either.
Me: Okay. So who are we?
God: You have already told me, but you are still not conscious of it.
Me: Forgive me God, but I am slow sometimes. Can you please elaborate?
God: Haven’t we already established I AM the center of every “thing?”
Me: Wait a minute, God. Are you saying that the essential me is really you?
God: Let me put it this way. Was there a potential for you to have created something else of your life—different labels? For example, could you have chosen a different college to go to? Could you have chosen a different person to marry? Could you have chosen a different career?
Me: Yes. I guess I could have, potentially.
God: And couldn’t that same potential have created many, many different realities than you have right now?
Me: I guess so.
God: Have you ever considered the possibility that the creative potential—the no “thing” we have talked about—is what’s permanent and real? Has it ever occurred to you that beyond the labels of creation—the physical world and duality— you and I are ONE? Isn’t this what Jesus prayed for you to realize in the Biblical Book of John?
Me: Wow, God! I never thought about it that way. And that makes a lot of sense. But if my essential nature is the infinite potential to create, and that’s what you are God, isn’t that a little blasphemous sounding?
God: I didn’t say Joshua was God. I said your essential nature is God. Joshua is limited and impermanent. Like all things, Joshua will perish. However, your essential nature, the power of creation, is eternal and infinite. Don’t you see? Through your life, I AM that I AM comes to BE, from infinite potential into finite form. This finite form is always limited, and it will always dissolve back into the infinite creative potential of which I AM. And then a new creation will come about. That is my nature. I AM the potential of all creation. I AM the very act of creation itself. And so are you.
Me: Wow, God. That’s almost too much for me to handle. But how do I experience my essential nature? How do I have experience a personal relationship with you?
God: John the Baptist said it perfectly: “I must decrease so that he may increase.” In other words, Joshua must decrease so that I may increase through him.
Me: Now wait a minute, God. Wasn’t John the Baptist talking about Jesus?
God: Was he?
Me: Of course.
God: And who was Jesus?
Me: Well, he’s God.
God: And haven’t we already concluded that your essential nature is God, too. And didn’t Paul say that he labored until Christ be formed “within” you?
Me: Are you telling me that Christ being formed in me is simply another way of saying that I need to experience my essential nature, which is God?
Me: Well, I guess in a way that does make sense. But…
Me: But where does that leave Jesus, as a person? He came to earth to save us, right?
God: Here is the difference between religion and spirituality. Did Jesus come to save you, or did Jesus come to show you the way to salvation? One is a belief and a thought, which we have already established was limited. The other is an experience as ONENESS with me, which is permanent and unchanging, even though the world around you is always changing.
Me: Hmm. That’s a good question. It seems like the latter is the case. I never really did understand why you needed the blood of your son to be appeased. That makes you out to be some horrible sounding monster, and that has never made much sense to me. I always thought true salvation was somehow much deeper than that.
Thank you, God, for the wonderful conversation. I feel so relieved. But I think I need a rest now. I think I’ll go and enjoy just BEING.
God: Welcome home!
“Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner and the above as the below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one…then you shall enter the Kingdom.”
—Gospel of Thomas
“The Kingdom of God is within you.”
—Gospel of Luke
Have a very blessed day!